Cute 'Granny Pods' Are Innovative Substitute For Elderly Nursing Homes

Aug 09, 2022 by apost team

As we age, the question of how to take care of our elderly parents or even our grandparents becomes difficult. The decision of whether to put a family member in a nursing home is a difficult one, but if the loved one needs extra medical attention, it can be an inevitability. However, a series of self-sufficient homes named MEDCottages or "granny pods" potentially offer another solution for families who wish to keep their loved ones as close to home as possible.

MEDCottages are medically equipped homes that are pre-fabricated and allow anyone to take care of elderly family members from the comfort of their own property. Depending on the zoning laws of each municipality, a MEDCottage can be set up behind one's home in the backyard. They can easily be hooked up to pre-existing power lines, water supply and sewerage, making them easy to maintain.

Invented by Dr. Kenneth Dupin, the pods were designed to keep families together for as long as possible, even if the elderly family member living in one requires medical care. The homes are extremely suitable for the elderly as they contain many safety features to keep the person who lives there in good comfort. However, beginning prototypes for this home can be pricey due to their many special features, with units costing upwards of $125,000.

Nevertheless, with how much nursing homes cost per year, MEDCottages could still prove to be a viable choice for some families. One downside, however, is that state zoning laws mean the homes are not able to be set up just anywhere. According to Dr. Dupin, only a handful of municipalities are currently zoned to allow for these houses, but hopefully, they will be more widespread in the future.

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Tiny homes are becoming more popular, but MEDCottages go one step further and provide state-of-the-art medical features and equipment in a small living space. The pods are furnished with defibrillators, supplies for first aid and hand railings for easy accessibility. They even include lighted floorboards that are softer than average to minimize pain and damage that can be caused by an unexpected fall.

Furthering the safety of these buildings, they come equipped with electronic devices that can help monitor vital signs such as blood pressure and glucose levels. Interactive cameras supply caregivers and medical professionals with information in real-time.

Although there are a number of different types of these homes available, the standard MEDCottage measures 12 by 24 feet, the size of a typical master bedroom. However, the features include those of a hotel suite, such as a small kitchen, a bathroom and a living area. The home is beautified with vinyl siding and French double doors that are big enough to allow access for wheelchair users or equipment from hospitals.

The convenience of investing in one of these bungalows is that an elderly parent or grandparent can be taken care of with minimal travel due to the ease of having them on one's own property. They will be able to enjoy the company of family while still maintaining some sense of independence in their own space. The worries about their quality of life or medical care are taken care of properly with the homes, while the family is able to act as the main caregivers when necessary.

Unsurprisingly, with how innovative the MEDCottage is, it quickly went viral when it was first announced in 2012. It was featured on a wide range of news media, while personal stories and families' experiences of using it were shown. People on social media commented about how impressed they were with the concept. One person wrote:

"This is a brilliant idea...I hope you guys do well...families all over will greatly appreciate this as an option to provide for multi generational family homes."

Meanwhile, another called it "the greatest idea since sliced bread!" However, unfortunately, even with how popular the MEDCottage is, it isn't yet a widespread reality. In 2020, Dr. Dupin revealed that although the company had over 1 million inquiries about the homes after it went viral, only five had been purchased and set up. He revealed a major problem stopping its widespread use was related to zoning laws in the United States. This means that the homes aren't able to be set up just anywhere, but only within municipalities that allow for such tiny homes to be placed on one's property. Only legislation change at the state level could turn things around, but that will undoubtedly take time. 

Nevertheless, MEDCottages are an exciting prospect for the future for families who wish to stay together and eschew nursing homes in favor of living as close to home for as long as possible. The fact that they provide the elderly with high-functioning residences that allow them to live independently and close to family is something to look forward to indeed. 

What are your thoughts on the features and accommodation of one of these tiny homes? Would you consider housing a loved one in a “granny pod?” Let us know your thoughts and show this article to the friends and family you know who may be interested!

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